In Virginia, passing a vehicle on the right is illegal, although there are some exceptions. Under state law, left lanes on highways are strictly for passing. Slow vehicles are not supposed to stay in the left lane, and drivers doing so may get ticketed for left lane blockage and face a $100 fine. Once a slow driver is passed in the left lane, the car is supposed to move back into the right lane.
Passing on the right is a moving violation, and can cost drivers three points on their record. Not only will that boost insurance premiums, but the violation remains on their record for three years.
Why Passing on the Right is Dangerous
Passing on the right is illegal in most states simply because it is dangerous. A driver’s field of vision is better on the left side. In the U.S., the steering wheel is on the left, and that makes passing on the right more difficult. On highways, exit ramps are on the right, and the right is also where you would find disabled vehicles parked. If a vehicle is illegally passing on the right, a serious collision could occur.
Facilitating Traffic Flow
The rules of the road were developed for a reason, but too many drivers remain unaware of basic safety regulations. Using the left lane for passing allows traffic to flow more smoothly, with fewer drivers changing lanes to avoid slow vehicles. Left lane laws also allow emergency vehicles to move more quickly to their destination.
When Passing on the Right is Legal
Drivers may pass on the right legally when another driver signals for a left turn, and there is sufficient room for passing. The driver must have the left turn indicator on. If a road is wide enough for two vehicles, and two lanes are clear, a driver may also pass on the right. Keep in mind that even under the circumstances in which it is legal to pass on the right, the driver may only do so as long as the conditions permit safe movement. Passing on the right does not mean leaving the roadway to drive on the shoulder or off-road.
Signaling to Move Over
While it is not legal to pass on the right under most circumstances, it is legal for a driver to signal to someone driving too slow in the left lane to move right. However, signaling is not a synonym for aggressive driving, such as tailgating the car in front of them. Drivers caught in such situations face ticketing for aggressive driving. Road rage may also result from slow drivers deliberately staying in the left lane. Refusing to move over can trigger such a reaction from the driver behind, and both parties may end up ticketed.
Our Virginia Beach Car Crash Lawyers Represent Those Injured by Negligent Drivers
If you or someone you know was injured in an accident because of a driver passing on the right, you need the services of the experienced Virginia Beach car crash lawyers. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we work hard so that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us at 757-352-2237 or fill out our online form today for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.